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Worst Movie Weekend In Years: ‘The Words’ Can’t Beat ‘The Possession’ & ‘Lawless’ Holdovers; ‘Cold Light Of Day’ Bombs; Now Anti-Obama Pic #2 Political Documentary

By | Sunday September 9, 2012 @ 8:36am PDT

SUNDAY AM,  5TH UPDATE: This is traditionally such a terrible box office Friday through Sunday that Hollywood skeds only low-profile movies. It’s official: the fall film season started with a whimper. It’s the worst grossing weekend of the year and this is also the worst grossing weekend in years. It looks like the entire North American box office might barely add up to $70 million, which is down 13% from last year. The weekend of September 5, 2008 was the last time no films grossed over $10 million. Ouch!

2016 Obama’s America grossed $26.1M by end of today (give or take some bucks) and passed 4 of Michael Moore’s five political documentaries to become the #2 all-time biggest. Only Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, his highly critical examination of the first term of President George W Bush, retains the #1 position with $119.1M. It’s extremely unlikely that 2016 Obama’s America will make even half that. But it now has made more money (not adjusted for inflation or higher ticket prices) than Moore’s Sicko (2007 – $24.5M), Oscar-winner Bowling For Columbine (2002 – $21.5M), and Capitalism: A Love Story (2009 – $14.3M).

Related: Anti-Obama Pic Now Bigger Than 3 Michael Moore Movies
Related: Summer 2012 Ends Weak

Lionsgate has the #1 movie for the 4th weekend in a row – The Possession with an asterisk because its $9.3M grosses are so low.

Among wider release newcomers, CBS Films’ Sundance pickup The Words (2,801 theaters) came behind #2 Lawless from The Weinstein Co and #3 The Expendables 2 from Millenium/Lionsgate with only $4.7M for the weekend. That’s less than the studio’s very modest expectations and tracking for this drama masquerading as an art house pic. It cost only $6M to make (the whole production was shot in 25 days in Montreal), and CBS Films spent just $2M for U.S. only for this pic written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. Meanwhile Hollywood has to start asking itself whether one-time People Sexiest Man Alive, Bradley Cooper, really is a draw for female moviegoers. (I think he does better in bromance movies like The Hangover and Limitless and The A Team.  And he shows his acting chops in the upcoming The Place Beyond The Pines and Silver Linings Playbook.) CBS Films spent a very conservative amount to market The Words to only women, and particularly older women. The audience turned out be 58% female, with 78% aged 25+. The film received a ‘B’ Cinemascore. Read More »

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CBS Films Shifts ‘The Words’ Release Date

By | Monday June 4, 2012 @ 2:50pm PDT

The Words is coming out from CBS Films on September 7, up two weeks from its original September 21 slot. The literary plagiarism drama stars Bradley Cooper, Olivia Wilde, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons. Cooper plays a struggling writer who passes off an old work as his own in the multi-plotted film. Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal co-direct from a script they wrote together. The Words is produced by Michael Benaroya, Jim Young, and Tatiana Kelly, with Laura Rister and Cassian Elwes exec producing under their Waterfall Media Banner along with with Cooper and Lisa Wilson. CBS Films picked up The Words at Sundance this year.

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Hot Trailer: ‘The Words’

By | Thursday May 17, 2012 @ 1:38pm PDT

Bradley Cooper doesn’t have his Hangover pals to get him out of trouble in The Words, a CBS Films romantic drama about a frustrated writer who claims another author’s long-lost work as his own. Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid and Jeremy Irons co-star. The film has a September 21 release date.

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CBS Films Dates Trio Of Feature Pick-Ups

By | Thursday March 15, 2012 @ 10:06pm PDT

CBS Films, which has already released the Daniel Radcliffe starrer The Woman In Black and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen this year, has dated three additional titles due out in the next 12 months. The dramatic romance The Words, starring Bradley Cooper as a writer who claims another man’s long-lost work as his own, will be released wide on September 21. CBS Films picked up the film, which also stars Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde and Zoe Saldana, at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits and Olga Kurylenko star in the action comedy Seven Psychopaths, which was written and directed by In Bruges’ Martin McDonagh. It’s about a screenwriter whose friends draw him into a dog kidnapping scheme. It will be get a limited release on November 2. Read More »

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CBS Films Scoring First Major Fest Deal On ‘The Words’: Sundance

By | Sunday January 22, 2012 @ 11:26am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: I’m told that CBS Films is closing the first 7-figure deal of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, paying a minimum guarantee of around $2 million with a $1.5 million P&A commitment for The Words. The Brian Klugman/Lee Sternthal-directed drama stars Bradley Cooper as a struggling writer who discovers a lost manuscript, claims it as his own and becomes a literary sensation. All good until a man claiming to be the real writer (Jeremy Irons) shows up at his doorstep.

Bidding went through the evening, and I heard that Mickey Liddell’s new distribution company LD Entertainment and Lionsgate were among those in the mix. While The Words is the festival’s closing-night film, sellers set up a private screening Saturday morning at the Holiday III. Reaction was strong and distributors began circling right away. The film has the perfect elements that make it catnip for distributors looking for films that have a shot at a real theatrical release: Cooper is hot, after The Hangover Part II and Limitless, and starring as Lucifer later this year in the Alex Proyas-directed big-scale adaptation of the Milton poem Paradise Lost. Besides Irons, the cast includes Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana and Ben Barnes. The film was repped by CAA and Cassian Elwes, with CBS exec Scott Shooman. Parlay Films is handling foreign sales and is almost done. Read More »

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